For many people today it seems difficult to live without the internet, however a decreasing, but still non-negligible, part of the EU population has never used it. In the EU27, almost three quarters of households1 had access to the internet in the first quarter of 2011, compared with almost half in the first quarter of 2006. The share of households with broadband internet connections more than doubled between 2006 and 2011, to reach 68% in 2011 compared with 30% in 2006. During the same period, the share of individuals aged 16-74 in the EU27 who had never used the internet decreased from 42% to 24%.
These data2 published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, represent only a small part of the results of a survey on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) usage in households and by individuals in the EU27 Member States, Iceland, Norway, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. As well as internet use and broadband connections, the survey also covers other indicators such as e-commerce, e-skills and e-government.
Household internet access ranges from 45% in Bulgaria to 94% in the Netherlands
The level of internet access increased in all Member States between 2006 and 2011, however differences remain significant. In 2011, shares of internet access of 90% and over were recorded in the Netherlands (94%), Luxembourg and Sweden (both 91%) and Denmark (90%), while shares of 50% and below were registered in Bulgaria (45%), Romania (47%) and Greece (50%).
Broadband internet access enables higher speed when browsing and performing activities over the internet. The proportion of households with a broadband connection rose in all Member States in 2011 compared with 2006. Sweden (86%) registered the highest share of broadband connections in 2011, followed by Denmark (84%), the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (both 83%) and Finland (81%), while Romania (31%), Bulgaria (40%) and Greece (45%) had the lowest. Here to read more.